Archetypes and the Fourth Gospel

Literature and Theology in Conversation

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Brian Larsen
  • New York, NY: 
    Bloomsbury Academic
    , June
     224 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Patrick Horn forthcoming.


Employing Northrop Frye's system of archetypal literary criticism - the use of romance, tragedy, irony and satire, and comedy - Brian Larsen offers a compelling summary of the essential governing framework and means of exchange between literature and theology. Characters in the Fourth Gospel are examined through a specific archetype, and, reciprocally, these characters illuminate and inform important theological aspects of their respective archetypes: Jesus and romance (hero story); Pilate and tragedy; the Jews and Thomas and irony; and Peter and comedy.

This volume further clarifies the understanding of Frye's archetypesand identifies the key variable between each one: the relationship between (1) a belief or ideal and (2) experience or reality. Helping to advance dialogue between literature, biblical studies and theology, and providing insightful readings for a number of Fourth Gospel characters and texts, Larsen's examination will appeal to those seeking a new perspective on the themes of the New Testament or those seeking theological insights into literature.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Brian Larsen is Associate Professor of English at Simpson University in Redding.

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